A calm morning in Qalandiya.
05.15. When we arrived there were already many men on the Israel side, waiting for transport to work. On the Palestinian side, the lines extended as far as the roundabout on the new driveway. (The driveway seems to be for public transport. A boom opened automatically for a bus to and from A-Ram to enter it, and a yellow taxi was parked inside it. But another taxi had to drop its passengers beyond the boom.)
The soldier inside the cubicle was unusually attentive and helpful. Although we feared he was letting too few people through the turnstiles each time, he opened the latter frequently (and gradually increased the numbers), and repeatedly made clear announcements that checking station no.5 was available for those without packages. The woman soldier who replaced him shortly after 6 o’clock was also quite efficient.
At 6.10, two D.C.O. officers arrived, followed by two guards. They opened the humanitarian gate for the few people who had gathered there.
All proceeded calmly. One man (whose place was being saved for him in the queue) chatted with us. He complained that, although he comes from near Givat Zeev, he is not allowed through there, and has to make the time-consuming trip via Qalandiya. He works in Atarot at the poultry factory (at “Glatt,” in his words).
At 7.15 we joined one of the lines which by now were within the shed. It took some 35 minutes to pass through (which seems a long time, considering how smoothly everything was working!). Inside the checking station were a few older men waiting for permission to pass without permits at 8 o’clock.
We did not see when the D.C.O. team left, but they were still at the humanitarian gate.